Go to Tusheti – the land famous for wine!
Go to Tusheti – the most difficult land to reach in Georgia. Start your day deliberately enjoying the rays of sunrise and local eco cheese and delicious bread. Take a whole day afoot and ahorse trekking to witness breathtaking landscapes of the Greater Caucasus. When the sun comes down join a bustling feast and enjoy Georgian national treasure – wine. Bottoms up! Visit Kakheti – the cradle of wine – also known as the Georgian Provence and learn about the secrets of wine production. Thirsty for more excitements open our gift: our signature Nodari Wine. Gaumarjos!
4x4 cars for the time of jeep tour
care of the English-speaking tour guide and owner of the Tamada Tour
Comfortable hotels *** in the city center
Georgian feast - supra
local color and culture
meals (breakfast and hearty dinners with wine)
shopping at local bazaars
tasting of local drinks and products
transfers by air-conditioned minibus from / to the airport, to / from the hotel and on the route
Transport to selected attractions by off-road vehicles
you will see places inaccessible to ordinary tourists
In the heart of Georgia we’ll see a city from dreams. The legend says that Tbilisi was founded by King Vakhtang I of Iberia who was captivated by hot springs and picturesque mountains in the valley. To see famous Tbilisi Sulphur baths (and most recognizable Orbeliani Sulphur bath) we’ll go to the oldest, 1,500-year-old district of the city. We’ll explore the gems of the Caucasus in impressively green parks, sightseeing Tbilisi monuments, and by a gondola lift we’ll go to Kartlis Deda. Other attractions include: Narikala fortress, Anchiskhati Basilica, Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral, Metekhi Orthodox church and Tsminda Sameba, shopping on Dry Bridge, a colorful flea market where tourists can buy souvenirs and antiques, we’ll admire exhibit of art pieces of Niko Pirosmani, and on illuminated Rustaveli Avenue, we’ll see an oriental building of opera, theater, philharmonic hall, Kashveti Church and a former governor’s palace. In the evening we’ll go to one of restaurants with wine, delicious food, music and live dance.
We’ll take jeeps to get to Omalo where our fun with impressive Tusheti begins. We’ll cross 80 km of spectacular mountain route through Abano pass located on 2926 m over the sea level and Pirikiti mountains which separating the biggest in the region picturesque valleys of Pirikiti and Gometsari Alzani. We’ll get through wooden bridges over rivers, narrow serpentines of gravel roads of mountainsides and gorge rocky firebreaks which can be found in the waters of waterfalls. Walking across a green emptiness where we can run into sheep, see residential-defensive fortresses, chapels, and rock mounds we’ll get to Atsunda pass (3,341 m over the sea level) with snow-capped peaks. We’ll experience the real beauty of wilderness and villages hidden in the monumental Georgian mountains will leave us speechless. We’ll get to the end of the world where we’ll discover the pristine beginning of this Caucasian paradise on earth.
We’ll sit at the table to enjoy supra, a traditional Georgian feast with a great ritual. Georgians don’t need any reason to prepare a festive dinner and eating a meal a perfect occasion for long conversations which can be compared to oratorical art. We will celebrate over exquisite meals, wine and chacha and enjoy Tamada’s toasts. We will listen to laudation of God, peace and country. We will be taken aback by the fact that Georgians know almost 150 different toasts and each of them can be elaborated for couple of minutes which often happen to be the longest stories about life, art, culture, religion, history, politics, family concluded with moral or wishes.
This attraction includes a Georgian cradle of wine-making where in Kvareli we will be familiarized with secrets of Kakheti wine production. The first secret will be revealed in bio grape orchard. We’ll taste various Georgian wines produced in concordance with traditional formula, handmade artistry and timeless passion. We’ll learn that life in Kakheti isn’t concerned only with wine and local people don’t live just from one Rtveli to another Rtveli – we’ll go to Gremi, a former capital city of Kakheti that existed only about 150 years, which is rich in most important architectural monuments in Georgia. History about Christianity in Georgia wil be presented while visiting an impressive David Gareja monastery complex, Alaverdi Monastery, Nekresi Monastery and Bodbe Monastery. Another destination is the town of Sighnaghi a small town located on a hill which cobbled streets will get us to observation points and National Museum with art pieces of primitivist artist Niko Pirosmani.
We’ll take tents and we’ll get to the most picturesque Georgians routes. Georgia (a country with mountains constituting 80% of the whole surface area) is a perfect tourist destination if you’re interested in active vacations: long walks, horse and bike riding, hiking and nordic walking. We’ll spend nights under the stars in camps run by friendly agritourism and we’ll spend daytime hiking. We’ll go across green valleys, gorges with steep cliffs, mountainous rock paths and bridges over mountain stream. We’ll rest by the crystal-clear waterfall and then we’ll cross the mountain pass.
Georgian hospitality is omnipresent when exploring the country. We can be sure that the popular saying: “if a Georgian invites a guest to his house, it is his guest. If a guest stops himself in front of Georgian’s house it means he was sent by God and you cannot discuss with God” is not a legend or just a saying. As a gift from God, guests are welcomed with a genuine, natural joy and respect as if they were expected. That’s why they receive everything they need before they even say it. For Georgians as hosts there is nothing more important than welcome, feed, house and to express hospitality. Georgian hospitality will be the most memorable expression of human kindness and big heart.
We’ll join a feast in cozy family restaurants where we can know the authentic Georgia. Followed by the voice of Tamada we’ll make a few toasts with exquisite chacha and we’ll taste all gems of culinary Caucasus. We’ll eat khachapuri and khinkali, badrijani (fried eggplant stuffed with spiced walnut paste), Ajapsandali, soups kharcho and chikhirtma and a lot of more famous Georgians dishes. Food will be accompanied with splendid Kakheti wine or fresh cooled lemonade. For dessert local ripe fruit and delicious churchkhela (a candle-shaped candy with nuts and grapes). In order to always remember flavors of Georgia, we’ll participate in culinary classes to learn about preparing khachapuri and khinkali.
Not many sacred objects arouse such feelings like David Gareja monastery complex (erected in 6th cent.) location of which has become subject to a border dispute between Georgia and Azerbaijan. We’ll get through semi-desert to slopes of Gareja mountain to learn about his history: why the Syrian monk settled in such a demanding region and how he managed to change caves into one of the most important centers of Georgian Orthodox Church which comprises 6 buildings of lavra, Dodo's Rka, Natlismtsemeli, Udabno, Bertubani and Chichkhituri. We will find out what “Tears of David Gareja” are and we’ll sneak into natural rock caves to admire colorful frescoes depicting very important public figures that contributed to this building erection. At the end we will admire the view from high mountains.
Cobbled streets surrounded by greenery, lively restaurants, cheerful houses with red roofs, monumental tserkovs of Saint George and Saint Stephen and for dessert collection of art by Niko Pirosmani – here, in the Georgian Carcassonne we’ll see a perfect image of the Caucasian paradise. It is often said, that the city of wine and love famous for exquisite Kakhetian drinks and 24/7 (!) wedding hall is extremely beautiful outside but empty inside. On 790m a.s.l. we’ll enter into a stony and brick maze to discover the whole truth about one of the most beautiful (and the most expensive) cities in Georgia. We’ll hear echoes of the past and voices of locals who built the Signagi fortress in the 18th century to protect themselves from the Dagestan. We’ll take a walk across 2.5 km fortified walls (second the longest and visible from the outer space) with 23 towers, which renovated part became residential. Instead of advancing enemies, we’ll admire a picturesque skyline of Alazani and majestic peaks of the Greater Caucasus.
Price does not include: flights, souvenirs, personal expenses, or extra charge for single room.
Accommodation in hotels *** located in city centers, comfortable and nicely furnished double bedrooms with own bathrooms. If you travel all by yourself, don’t worry – you’ll share a double room with a person of the same-sex which saves you extra charge for single room (up to EUR 180 per person depending on a trip and date).
Rates include 2 meals a day: hotel breakfasts and great dinners in restaurants serving local cuisine (for example Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijan) as well as European. We’ll get familiar with the culture of the country by tasting other regional beverages and meals. One of the attraction is supra, the Georgian feast, accompanied by Tamada – the Georgian toastmaster. Each day will be an occasion to taste the best Georgian wines and chacha (grape vodka) and volunteers may learn to prepare traditional meals.
We take comfortable minibuses such as a Mercedes Sprinter from/to airport as well as for our tours. All vehicles have AC, Wi-Fi and radio. Safety is guarantee by professional and experienced drivers.
Tours and sightseeing takes place in cozy groups of 16 participants guided by English-speaking tour leader – a resident expert who is passionate about a given region and knows its culture, traditions, history and geography. We will reach the most interesting attractions, everyday life and culture, colorful bazaars and less known places which tourist hardly ever travel to.
Day 1. Participants gather at the airport. Check-in. Flight to Georgia.
Day 2. Arrival in Tbilisi. The participants are welcomed by the Tamada Tour guide. Shuttle to Telavi the capital city of Kakheti. Breakfast on the road. We’ll go to Kvemo Alvani, where we’ll get across the Abano pass to a hardly available region of Tusheti. It’ll take us 3.5 hours to pass 72-km route. We’ll get to Omalo. Rest at a guesthouse. Hiking and sightseeing for volunteers. Dinner at a guesthouse.
Day 3. Breakfast. Trip to one of the most remote villages – Dartlo. Hiking. Return to Omalo. Horseback riding for volunteers is extra charged. Dinner at a guesthouse.
Day 4. Breakfast. A whole-day hiking in Tusheti. Horseback riding for volunteers is extra charged. Dinner at a guesthouse.
Day 5. Farewell breakfast in Tusheti. Return across the Abano pass to Kakheti famous for wine production. The attractions include: sightseeing Alaverdi church (11th cent.), the architectural gem of Kakheti with a 55-meters high dome, a medieval town of Gremi (15th cent.), the capital of Kakheti, vinery Twins Cellar in Napareuli with the most interesting in Georgia Qvevri and Qvevri Wine Museum and Wine House Kindzmarauli Corporation in Kvareli for sightseeing and winetasting. We’ll taste the most popular grape varieties and wines (Saperavi, Kindzmarauli, and Mukuzani) and learn about the process of distinctive Georgian Art of Winemaking – both fermentation and bottling, which is entirely different from the European method of winemaking. We’ll have the opportunity to purchase wine for a good price. Supra dinner with Tamada and live music. Overnight in Telavi or Kvareli.
Day 6. Breakfast. We’ll reach the spectacular Sighnaghi (18th cent.), known as the Georgian Carcassonne, a great observation point which is situated atop a high mountain and surrounded by a fortified wall and numerous bastilles. Then, we’ll go to Bodbe Monastery (9th – 17th cent.), a nunnery town, where a tomb of Saint Nino from Cappadocia (who introduced Christianity in Georgia) can be visited. We’ll also go to a branch of Georgia National Museum, which presents the exhibition of the works of Niko Pirosmani (1862-1918), the most renowned Georgian primitivist painter (also recognizable for Alla Pugacheva’s song ‘Million Roses’) and elaborate sculptures which date back to 5,000 years ago! Then, we’ll go to the local winery for winetasting and dinner. Open-air free time and cooking. Overnight in Telavi or Kvareli.
Day 7. Breakfast. We’ll reach Tbilisi. The attractions include: David Gareja monastery complex (6th – 12th cent.) with 11th-century frescoes located on a semi-desert nearby the border with Azerbaijan. Rest at Oasis Club in the ghost city of Udabno. Dinner in Tbilisi restaurant. Overnight in hotel.
Day 8. Breakfast. Sightseeing the monuments of the beautiful capital city. We are going to see Tsminda Sameba Church (20th cent.), the biggest church on the Caucasus (it accommodates up to 10,000 believers!), a large fortress of Narikala (6th -8th cent.), which dates back to the times of Arab rulers (5th-6th century), Anchiskhati Basilica of St Mary, Metekhi church(13th cent.), Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral (11th-12th cent.), and Tbilisi sulfur baths in the oldest (1,500 years old) district Abanotubani, including the world famous Orbeliani Baths (19th cent.). We’ll take a gondola lift and while admiring the view on the city, we’ll go up to a hill to see the monument of Mother of Georgian – Kartlis Deda (20th cent.). The ecumenical character of Tbilisi old town will melt your heart. You can see also Armenian church, Jewish synagogue, and Muslim mosque. We’ll go to the cafe and restaurant district or ice cream, gifts, souvenirs, national garments and local cuisine. Free time and coffee break. Then we’ll take the main artery of Tbilisi – Rustaveli Avenue, which starts from the Freedom Monument located in Tbilisi’s central square, where you can also see a former town hall. Walking across Rustaveli Avenue gives also the opportunity to see the house of the former Parliament, where the Rose Revolution of 2003 took place, Tbilisi Opera House and Ballet Theater erected in oriental style, old-time Palace of Caucasus Viceroy, the Kashveti church (19th cent.), and the buildings of Shota Rustaveli Theater and Georgia State Film University and philharmonic hall. Dinner in restaurant Mravaljamieri with live music and folkloric dances. Return to hotel. Overnight in Tbilisi.
Day 9. Preparation for the return. Dry provisions for breakfast. Shuttle to airport and departure. Thank you for your participation in our trip and feel more than welcome to come back!
TAMADA TOUR 2018
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